Insurance agents can find online continuing education courses offered through community colleges, private continuing education providers and insurance companies. These are often self-paced, standalone classes that allow students to read educational materials and complete assignments when it fits their schedules. Areas covered in training documents may include current and new insurance laws, specialty terminology and proper documentation methods. While these classes are offered entirely online, it is important to note that some states may require agents to take in-person classes to fulfill their continuing education requirements.
Continuing Education Courses for Insurance Agents
Examples of specific online course topics for insurance agents can include the following:
- Professional ethics
- Consumer protection
- Life insurance
- Health insurance fundamentals
- Flood insurance
- Commercial insurance
- Homeowner's policies
- Long-term care
- Charitable planning
The format for online programs is fairly standard across the industry. Most include manuals, training materials and an exam. To take the class, insurance agents register for online access to the training materials. They are often able to download the manuals and training documents for future use. Occasionally, these items are shipped to the agent in bound form. The online classes allow agents to read through the educational materials at home or at work. Since most states require agents to keep current with new regulations for their specialty, these materials are kept as a resource once the continuing education course is complete.
After reading through the training materials, agents take the exam for that continuing education program. The exam's costs are usually a part of the class tuition. For most continuing education classes, a minimum passing score is required. The state insurance agency or commissioner determines the minimum passing score requirements. Typically, the agent may take the exam three times for the original fee. Failing the class a third time may cause the agent to lose his or her license.
Continuing Education Information
Continuing education (CE) requirements for insurance agents vary by state. The requirements may also depend on the type of insurance being sold. For example, agents handling property and casualty insurance have different training requirements than those who sell life and health insurance.
Since the licensing requirements for insurance agents differ so widely, agents should verify their requirements with the state's insurance department. Some states permit their agents to take online training programs to meet continuing education requirements while others could require traditional classroom courses.
Overall, insurance agents who need to meet continuing education requirements may be able to do so by taking a self-paced online course. These courses are offered in many different subject areas, such as consumer protection or charitable planning, so agents can choose based on their career focus or interest area.